Bestselling author and TED Prize winner Karen Armstrong has conducted decades of research on the world's religions, and says there's a universal theme that ties them all together. In this clip from "Super Soul Sunday," Armstrong and Oprah discuss how compassion is the single thread running through every major belief system.
"Confucius was the first person to formulate the Golden Rule, as far as we know, 500 years before Christ," Armstrong says. "And his disciples said, 'Which of your teachings can we put into practice all day and every day?' And he said, 'Never treat others as you would not like to be treated yourself.'"
"I think that all the faiths have come to tell us this," Armstrong says. "That this is what works." By looking into your heart and discovering what gives you pain – and then refusing to ever inflict that pain on someone else -- Armstrong says that "somehow, you achieve new capacities of mind and heart."
Putting the Golden Rule into practice every day, she says, is what matters.
"So if you're not practicing and you're not putting it into action, it's not real." Oprah says.
"Once you do it, everything falls into place," Armstrong continues. "I think the fact that every single one of the world's faiths has developed this ethos of the Golden Rule separately from one another, independently, and said, 'This is what brings us to Nirvana, or to God' -- they did it because it worked."